Verbot von Einweg-Plastik 2021: 3 Tipps wie ihr der Plastik-Verschwendung entgegenwirkt

Single-use plastic ban in 2021: 3 tips on how to counteract plastic waste

"If global pollution continues like this, by 2050 we will have as much plastic in our oceans as fish," reads one Report of the “New Plastics Economy ”. Cotton buds, balloon sticks, disposable tableware, bags, plastic bottles and drinking cups are among the items that are most commonly found in our environment.

Fortunately, the end of plastic cutlery and single-use Styrofoam products is near. The ban decided by the federal government aims to reduce plastic waste in our environment and to promote environmentally friendly alternatives. We have collected for you here which products this ban applies to, when it will come into force and what alternatives there are.

Review: Plastic bag ban 2020

A lot has been happening in the field of sustainability in Germany since 2016. Many stores have charged a fee for plastic bags and even offer plastic-free alternatives. In November 2019, the federal cabinet approved the ban on plastic bags.

The draft law has now been introduced in the Bundestag. As soon as the law has passed the Bundestag and Bundesrat, there should be a 6-month transitional period to use up the remaining stocks in the markets and to get new alternatives in good time. Exactly which plastic bags are included in the law and what sustainable options are available for conventional plastic bags, you can find out here.

Why should there be a single-use plastic ban in 2021?

A doner kebab box, a coffee-to-go or Asian take-away food: the packaging for food and drink is often only used once. Environmentally friendly alternatives are already available but have not yet arrived in day-to-day business. This means: Too much packaging waste is still being produced and environmentally harmful plastic is still ending up in our nature.

So far there is no law banning plastic products as plastics are not considered hazardous materials. As littering is a growing problem and at the same time attracting media attention, the EU wants to enact a law on the production and use of single-use plastic.

Plastic products for which there are already sustainable alternatives should therefore no longer be produced in the future. Disposable food packaging and disposable cups made of plastic or styrofoam should therefore be significantly reduced.

When exactly is the ban coming?

From July 3, 2021, the ban on single-use plastic will come into force within the EU. The production of single-use plastic is banned in detail. The aim is to counteract the scarcity of resources, stop pollution of the environment and, in particular, reduce the amount of plastic in the seas.

In addition, non-returnable and reusable bottles are to be better labeled in the future and the reusable system is to be expanded at the same time. The corresponding regulation is intended to prohibit the destruction of functional goods. Both regulations are part of the new law of the EU Waste Framework Directive.

Which products does the ban affect?

The regulation will ban traditional single-use plastic products made from fossil fuels such as crude oil. If they end up in the environment and not in the yellow bin, they stay there for many decades or even centuries - just like single-use plastic bags.

With the regulation to ban single-use plastic, conventional products made of plastic will be banned. The following plastic items fall under the ban:

  • Cutlery (fork, knife, spoon)
  • Dishes (plates, bowls, mugs)
  • drinking straws
  • cotton swab
  • Plastic chopsticks
  • Styrofoam packaging
  • To go mug

In addition, disposable plates and cups made from bio-based or biodegradable plastics will be banned. For all these things there are already environmentally friendly alternatives.

Source: Federal government/sustainability policy

3 tips on how to avoid plastic in everyday life

1. Shop packaging-free

In order not to create waste in the first place, it is a good idea to buy food and clothing without packaging. Online goods are often packed in countless plastic bags, which is why it makes sense to get most products directly from the local store. Tip: Bring your own reusable bag with you.

In the supermarket it is sometimes more difficult not to use additional packaging, such as with loose tomatoes or plums. This is where fruit and vegetable bags can help: With the bags or nets, you can hold particularly small foods such as figs or kiwis together well and at the same time protect them from external influences. These are available from health food stores, local outdoor and world shops and now also in many supermarkets such as Penny or Rewe.

Sustainable labels with fair wages or second-hand shops are ideal for clothing. Here you can usually find the most unusual parts. You give the garment a second chance, so it doesn't end up in the trash. If you still can't avoid online shopping, you can find it here Sustainable shopping ideas on the Internet.

Our tip: We always tuck one of our #IAMPLASTICFREE bags in the backpack to be prepared for spontaneous purchases.

In addition, there are numerous unpackaged shops in Germany. All food is available here in large quantities, so you can fill your own containers with the amount of rice, oatmeal, pasta, dried fruit, chocolate, couscous, etc. you want. For this you have to weigh your vessels beforehand and record the weight. Then you fill up the food and let the checkout calculate the corresponding price.

In the unpackaged shops you will not only find edibles. Many stores also offer cosmetics and toiletries that are free of unnecessary plastic packaging and harmful microplastics are. Solid shampoos, bamboo toothbrushes, safety razors, soap and detergent drops are just a few of the sustainable products in the unpackaged range. Don't miss out on the weekly lunch specials that some locations offer. Here you can taste vegetarian and vegan delicacies and meet new people with similar ecological interests.

2. Use sustainable alternatives

Take a look around at home: are there items in the bathroom or kitchen that are also available plastic-free? What situations do you encounter every day in which you have to use superfluous packaging that usually ends up in the garbage after a single use? Is it maybe the coffee-to-go to work or does it start with your toothbrush before that? Maybe the plastic dishwashing brush can be exchanged for a wooden brush and is the shampoo with the great lemon scent also available without this plastic packaging?

We have put together a checklist of how you can save more plastic in your everyday life by making small changes:

  • Reusable ecological bags like ours #IAMPLASTICFREE Bag instead of conventional plastic bags
  • Vegetable and fruit nets instead of shirt bags
  • Toothbrush made of bamboo or wood
  • Solid shampoo and soap
  • Drinking bottle made of glass or stainless steel
  • Soda Stream instead of PET mineral water bottles
  • Wooden dish brush
  • Washable rags and sponges
  • Bamboo or stainless steel lunch boxes
  • Plastic-free drinking straws
  • Reusable to-go cups
  • To-go cups made from environmentally friendly materials like our #IAMPLASTICFREE to-go cups

You can now find most of these sustainable options in many drugstores in various designs and designs. Even if you have to invest a few coins first, it will be worth it after a while. So you are not only doing something good for the environment but also for your wallet.

Our tip: If you ever want to throw a party and don't know how to make it plastic-free, you'll find it here are ideas and tricks for a successful eco-friendly celebration.

In addition, reusable items that have a long service life can also be used. For example, there are now deposit systems in many shops. Especially small shops, local food suppliers and shops with an ecological focus have developed their own lending and return systems in order to save on unnecessary outer packaging.

For example, some bakeries offer carrying cases for larger orders, or the regional farmer's market collects yoghurt and milk jars to refill after cleaning. Just ask here directly and inquire, because you would be surprised how many companies offer such options.

3. Enjoy on the spot

Who doesn't know it: Quickly get a smoothie before work or snack on an Asia box while waiting for the train. Take-away food has become increasingly popular in the last decade and makes our sometimes stressful everyday life easier. However, we often forget that the delicious products are in packaging that we throw away immediately after consumption, which means that most packaging is used for just 20 minutes on average.

As we have already mentioned, it makes sense to use sustainable alternatives. But you can theoretically go one step further: Try taking a few minutes more time and sitting in the coffee shop or the Asian shop and using the dishes on site. This means there is no waste.

Use this little break as a rest period and try again to concentrate on just one thing: enjoyment. Too often we get caught up in stressful situations and forget to pay attention to the little everyday joys. Enjoy the atmosphere of the cafe or restaurant and focus on yourself and the delicacies in front of you in these moments. This not only helps the environment but also brings more mindfulness and joy into your everyday life.

Single-use plastic can be avoided now!

It remains exciting what will change in the area of ​​environmental pollution and plastic bans here in Germany and in the EU. The first milestones are in sight and more and more people value sustainable products and environmentally friendly behavior. the The travel and hotel industry is becoming greener , the catering industry is developing innovative ideas and products, and private individuals are also changing their consumer behavior out of love for the environment.

We are confident that together we can make a difference. A rethinking must take place from both the producer and consumer point of view. Above all, we appeal once again to politicians to bring more regulations on plastic and its use into the Bundestag. To really know which products are sustainable, we need increased transparency!

We keep our fingers crossed that from next July we will discover more and more sustainable alternatives when eating our favorite foods!

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